Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Kaleido Star New Wings Vol 5 Angel and Anathema|
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
The world of Kaleido Star continues to turn in this new series set under anime?s favorite big-top! The circus drama continues with more jealous divas, temperamental artists, and dangerous stunts!
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THE REAL SORA RETURNS
Sesho | Pasadena, TX USA | 10/31/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Volume 5 of Kaleido Star New Wings is mostly about explaining the motivation of some of its most hated characters, from present and past. Rosetta and Sora, along with most of their friends, head to France for a short stint with Noir Circus to keep their skills fresh and to give Rosetta a chance to try her luck with the trapeze. Rosetta is experiencing a lot of difficulty until she encounters a used up alcoholic trainer that once taught the elite of the world, including Leon and his deceased sister. He's impressed not only by Rosetta, but after telling them part of the story of Leon and Sophie's quest to perfect the Angel's Maneuver, he gives Sora more insight into her own desires and the road to being a true star. And what secret grudge lies between Leon and Yuri?
I have to admit, I haven't been a big fan of this second season of a show I really loved, and even thought at certain points to stop watching it. But I perservered through Sora's uncharacteristic depression wallowing and an absolute disgust and aversion to May to make it to this point, probably the only good volume of this second series! Sora finally gets confidence in herself and decides what she really wants. I don't believe in her idealistic goal of creating a "stage without battles" because how do you ever get better unless you have competition? Without it, you become complacent and stale. No matter what Sora says, she is fighting to get her way to the top, whether she admits it or not. The thing that has always dragged this series down is the total warping of Sora's character to fit a melodramatic formula, which instead of inspiring you, could drive you to Prozac. This is a welcome return to the spirit of the first season and is long overdue!"
''It's always darkest before the dawn..''
S. R. Parker | Hou., Tx USA | 09/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here I am again with another attempt..and I say ATTEMPT because the story of Sora's journey to become a Kaleido Star gets more complex and more drama unfolds for her.
For those of you who fell in love with the comedic situations in the first season & have kept up with the story will notice that it has taken a dramatic turn because, honestly, Sora's road to be a 'true star' is no longer fun & games.
It was also hard to do just 5 or 6 sentences for these episodes because there was SO much going on, so excuse the LONG reviews for each episode.
So, here I go with reviews for Vol. 5...with MAJOR spoilers.
Oh, by the way, who thought 'Anathema' sounded like some illness when they first saw it. :-)
1. Leon's Amazing Past
Sora and the gang, with help from Rosetta, have been invited to France to participate at the Noir Circus. Once there, they experience a mix-up of being at the wrong place, mistaken identities and being put through some terrifying stunts.
Meanwhile, Rosetta comes across Alain, a retired trapeze trainer whose last students happened to be Sophie and Leon Oswald, and she wants him to train her.
Sora and her group finds Rosetta at Alain's residence and winds up being told how Sophie and Leon came to be in his service. Come to find out they were given up by their relatives when Alain asked to take them in so he could train them on the trapeze, since he saw how talented they were at it.
To the KS crew's surprise, it is revealed that Sophie was better at the trapeze than Leon, but you would never know that by the way she acts and Alain came to a conclusion that SHE could be the one to do a true Angel's Maneuver, which is the path to becoming a true star.
But Leon doesn't like the rigorous training that Alain puts Sophie through, which is the same training Leon had put Sora through, so they leave [keep in mind they were with Alain for a long time].
Once the tale is over, Sora asks Alain will he train her to do the Angel's Maneuver. But Alain no longer believes in the 'path to becoming a true star', but Sora is determined.
Meanwhile, back at the Noir Circus, Sora and her posse are performing and May, in her determination to put on a show like Sora, starts doing all these wild moves.
I'm surprised she didn't run out of breath because she named every..last..one..of..them and she kept going on and on and on, until Sora told her she had to stop so they could end the show.
Unknown to the gang, Yuri was watching the show with Alain and it seems like Yuri has something up his sleeves.
2. The Amazing Fated Duel
The Kaleido Stage crew are finally heading home and they're surprised to be joined by Yuri who is going back with them to help produce and perform in a show, with Sora as lead, much to her surprise.
Back in Kalos' office, Yuri talks about how the Angel's Maneuver they did wasn't the complete one and he wants Sora to do the true Maneuver.
At that point, Leon walks in and he is NOT happy with the idea of being pushed aside and by Yuri Killian of all people.
It seems they have bad blood between them from 3 years ago and to make matters worse, Yuri taunts Leon by calling him a 'hopeless coward' who didn't want to finish the Angel's Maneuver with Sophie...or Sora. Yuri goes onto say that Leon doesn't want to have his revenge because of what happened 3 years ago.
Hmm, revenge for what? :-)
Later Yuri talks to Sora about doing the Maneuver and what ridicule
she'll experience if she fails and he, also, tells her that Sophie died because of him and Sora is shocked to hear this.
As the Kaleido Stage members are happy [..relieved, that is..] that
Sora is back which means no more May, Yuri calls Leon to the main stage, offering him a rapier/sword so Leon can get his chance at revenge, but Leon refuses to pick it up.
So Yuri proceeds to taunt him saying how much of a coward the God of Death is and how Leon didn't want to finish the Maneuver with Sophie and hoped such a shame wouldn't be revealed.
To be honest, Yuri used some VERY harsh words, but the trigger was when Yuri said Leon was glad that Sophie was dead.
I kid you not and let the fighting commence...
I won't get into the dynamics of the fight but I will say that Erroll Flynn and Tyrone Power had nothing on these two. I just wished the fight was two minutes longer.
Sora put a stop to the fight by doing the Angel's Maneuver technique which stopped Leon's killing blow. The thing that had me thinking about this scene was as Sora was trying to appeal to the two men, you had a feeling of how connected to the stage Sora is. Now I've seen people dismiss the scene as corny, but to me it was beautiful in a way.
To bring this to a close, Yuri revealed he was willing to take the blow for atonement for what he did and Leon, once again, remembers his promise to Sophie and Yuri tells him this is his last chance to make good on that promise.
3. Flight of the Amazing Angel
The opening of this episode reminded me of why I think Leon Oswald is the coolest and most interesting character in this anime ever since I saw him nail the Screw Spin in episode 5.
Here we see a younger and happier [..yes, HAPPY..] Leon Oswald sitting at the kitchen table with Sophie. But it was HOW he was 'sitting' that surprised me..and no I won't tell. :-)
Anyway, once again, Sora begins her training but is becoming discouraged when she can't do simple right-leg squats..on a log..in water..without making ripples.
Okay, that is kinda hard.
So, Fool suggests she take a break which she does and while walking around the city, she comes across a woman and seeing-eye dog. The woman, who turns out to be a trainer, seems familiar to Sora and she realizes this is the woman who saw perform 'Alice in Wonderland' when Sora was a child.
The woman, Donna, and Sora talk about how Donna left the stage because she couldn't take the animosity and hatred that was happening backstage. She goes onto say how everyone seemed like demons [there's a lot of mentioning about demons in this season], while working with seeing-eye dogs they were like perfect angels wanting to please.
While listening to her, Sora understands that the Angel's Maneuver isn't about becoming an angel but waking up people's angel hearts inside. Therefore, inspiring her to perfect her first level of training with a clear mind.
4. The Amazing Injured Swan
Sora's second level of training has begun and it's nothing compared to what she has done before. Her imbalance is working against her and it's taking its toll on her feet.
Leon is doing hands-on training with her and notices the stress she is going through but he chooses to keep quiet.
During one part of Sora's training where she has to maintain a pose for a long time, Leon notices she can't keep it up so he ends her training and tells her to fine tune what she's learned. But Sora can't believe that's all to the training and she refuses to quit, all the while damaging her feet more in the process.
Ken comes up with an idea to use equipment he saw on an infomercial to help with her balance which it does to an extent.
But, when Sora tries to go back to her first level of training, her body seems worse off than before.
Leon, seeing Sora pushing her body to such extremes, wants her to stop and doesn't understand why she and Sophie would 'push themselves mercilessly to achieve their dream'.
Sora responds didn't he think that maybe Sophie wanted to see him on such a stage where he doesn't have to fight anymore.
side note: Sora is saying all this because she, instinctively, knew Leon had been trying to protect Sophie from the harsh realities of the stage and as a result, Sophie wanted to create a conflict-free stage where he could enjoy performing again.
Leon, finally, decides it's time to make due on the promise he made long ago and resumes the special training on the Angel's Maneuver..with Sora.
..and that's enough for now until the next TWO months.
For those curious about the title..
It's always darkest before the dawn
when your world is weary,
when all is dark,
when dreams die and fade away,
and all of life is stark,
take heart in gentle love,
for she waits in the wings,
and where she walks,
fairies dance and angels sing..."